Oars and Stuff
May 27, 2012

I didn't take any pictures Friday. We were just getting the rough blanks of the oars ready. We need 8 oars for the Mollyhawks, and making 8 of anything is pure work - plain old repetitive work.

Curt was there - nothing makes a place work well better than a reliable volunteer. Vigil also came up from Tackenicth Lake for a visit. He said he'd been meaning to come up,but the 1.5 hour drive had held him back. I welcomed him, shook his hand in genuine pleasure, and . . .

put him to work. (that's the real reason you guys don't come to the boathouse, isn't it? Yer afraid of having to do a little work.)

We had another visitor: Fulton. He's the son of Stu, who owns Pig Feathers, the restaurant across the street. Fulton had never rowed before, but he was thinking maybe being part of the rowing club might be more fun than working the kitchen on Saturdays. No problem there! We fit him with a life jacket and taught him how to row.

He did so well in the Chamberlain Dory, I let him try out my skin-on-frame Whitehall. Dave Gentry, you have designed a VERY nice rowing boat.

We even got ANOTHER visitor - Scott is a truck driver and was waiting for his truck to be loaded over at the mill. He was wandering the docks, I asked him if he liked rowing, he said he had rowed in college (8-man scull for UC Davis) and hadn't rowed since 1969.

Every once in a while, I had to check on Vigil and make sure he still had something to do.

Besides getting Mollyhawks ready to paint, we are trying to get the oars done. Those Shinto Saw Rasps from Duckworks are GREAT. They really tear through the wood. I used an inside-out belt of 60grit paper to do final rounding on the handles. The handles are the smallest part of the oar, but they are also the only part you actually touch, so they are the most important.

Vigil is thinking of making a Shenandoah Whitehall as a pulling boat, so I let him try mine out. Stacy is a new volunteer, so he was interested as well.

Stacy was so interested, he thought he'd take her for a spin as well.

Even Scott got into the Whitehall action.

Back in the Boathouse, work continued.

And at the end of the day, Scott, a guy who just happened to be passing through and got stuck waiting for his truck to be loaded, got to row 2 boats and even paddle one of our Skin-on-Frame canoes. Of everything that was nice about the weekend, the nicest was seeing the smile on Scott's face. He really enjoyed himself.

And that's it for this week. That's what the Toledo Community Boathouse is all about: Encouraging people to engage in on-the-water and waterfront activities.